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Report shows sickness absence costs


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Sickness absence is costing manufacturing firms up to ?610 million a year, with continued barriers to rehabilitating workers slowing up improvements, according to a new report.


The Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) said sickness levels had remained stable at almost seven days per worker over the past year after a slight fall in previous years, which the group said countered the popular assumption that rates were increasing.


But the study of over 600 firms showed misconceptions about the effect of ill-health, worker resistance to rehabilitation as well as concern about the level of protection offered by the Disability Discrimination Act.


EEF Chief Medical Adviser, Professor Sayeed Khan, said: "Promoting rehabilitation in the workplace is the single biggest factor that government, employers, employees and healthcare professionals can address in tackling our sickness absence record."


The report also found that two out of five employees took no time off sick, while younger staff were more likely to suffer from stress than older employees.


Professor Mike O'Donnell of insurance firm Unum, which helped with the study, added: "We know that many of the things that prevent people from returning to work are unrelated to their actual health condition."


Dame Carol Black, National Director for Health and Work, who has conducted a review into workers' health, said the results of the survey supported one of her key proposals, the setting up of a so-called Fit for Work service to help firms and workers tackle sickness absence issues.


"I am glad to see EEF endorsing the idea and recommending it should be a priority. The survey also importantly highlights the issue of mental health problems, an area where there needs to be early intervention to prevent such problems becoming long-term and leading to people losing their jobs."

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The one surefire way to cut the figure to virually zero is to make everyone self employed. I've worked for myself for 10 years now and can count on one hand the number of days sick I've had.


Too many employees treat sick days almost as a right rather than for actually being ill.....

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It depends on how tight the Sickness rules are.


One of the biggest changes that came in, was brought in by the Government when they brought the Statutory Sick note in.

It was an open invitation to take a week off work, as you filled it in yourself.


Some people abuse the system, and they should be targetted so that taking time off, is not rewarded.

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